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Who To Travel With? A Choice Of 3  
User currently offlinesimonriat From UK - England, joined Jul 2010, 135 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 11 months 4 weeks ago) and read 4142 times:

Hi All

Would just like to get opinions really. My family and I (2 adults, 2 young children) are planning a trip to Florida March 2011.

We have a choice:-
1. Virgin Atlantic - Manchester - Orlando International. (Dont like the carrier, not keen on airport)
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)
3. US Airways London Gatwick or is it just Gatwick now - ? I know I have to transfer somewhere in the states (never flown before but wouldnt mind giving it ago).

Any opinions would be much appreciated.

Regards
Simon

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 651 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4122 times:
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OK, we'll rule out VS as the first choice or any recommendation.
The US service from LGW would be via connection in CLT - Charlotte, North Carolina - a large hub for US and a great airport to clear customs and connect on to MCO. Much has been said about US and its transatlantic product - some of it not always a positive - more hit and miss - but you would fly on a A330-300, have a meal and snack and complimentary (non-alcoholic) beverages. In-seat AVOD and with a 4 abreast center section, good seating for the 4 of you together. Total travel time is almost 15 hours, with a 3 hour layover in CLT.
Thomson/Thomsonfly. Not familiar with their in-flight product but from the standpoint of traveling with 2 children, nonstop I assume from MAN, to a smaller and effecient airport you are familiar with, I'd strongly suggest you consider their service. Certainly your accessability to the Greater Orlando area is equally convenient at SFB with ground transportation options (shuttle service or car hire) and less congestion.
I doubt you'd be hugely disappointed with US so in fairness their service is worth considering if you're comfortable with the longer journey time and how you feel the chidren will manage on the trip.
I hope you can plan a visit to our beautiful beaches here in the Tampa Bay area. No oil except in a Petrol Station! Good Luck with your plans, and let us know what you decide.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlinesimonriat From UK - England, joined Jul 2010, 135 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

Thanks PI4EVER

I think unfortunately its going to come down on what my wife decides and at the minute its looking like VS, which is why I thought I would get peoples opinions on here.

This will be my 5th visit to Florida, as I have fallen head over heels with the state. And I know what you are saying about the beaches. I got married last year in Clearwater on the beach. We will be going back to Clearwater this time. I could quite happily retire there with a small house with an ocean view and a well stocked library.

Thank you for your response, it is much appreciated.

Simon


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4112 times:

First decision: MAN or LGW ? Which one is easier to reach for you ? (parking, public transport, ..) ?

Second decision: As PI4EVER already mentioned: Do you really want to transfer with 2 young kids at CLT (which is a nice airport) when you have the option to fly nonstop ? The nonstop sectors to MCO/SFB will only be marginally longer.

Third decision: How are timings for departure out of MAN resp. LGW - And out of MCO / SFB ?

Forth decision: How are fares ? Is VS [i[that[/i] attractive from a finance point of view, that it would sweeten your discomfort with both VS and MCO ? In the end it might be better for all to pay some extra quid for the flights if the overall impression of that vacation is positively influenced by it. (nothing worse than beginning and ending a vacation with a disagreement (aka. fight) within family ...).
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4106 times:

I've flown 2 out of 3 (VS and US) and I'd say US. I'm only 5'10 and I was in quite a lot of pain at the end of the flight because they cram you in. I know it means having to change in Charlotte (or if you fly from MAN, via PHL) but I think that space is important on an 8 hour flight. VS are better orientated towards dealing with the kids though, I will give them that.

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 651 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4081 times:
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Simon:
One other option to consider I failed to mention in my original post. Might muddle the argument with the Mrs. but you could reference the romance of beginning and ending your trip at the beach of your wedding.....flying BA nonstop LGW-TPA. Fares for TPA usually match MCO on BA and VS and if you're coming to Tampa Bay anyway, just re-work your plans to begin and end your transatlantic segments "at the beach."
If you do come to TPA, send me a PM and we'll meet up for a cold beer and lunch at the beach.
Thomas



watch what you want. you may get it.
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3803 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4062 times:

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

Based on your own comments, this would be "the way to go" IMHO.

Virgin should be categorically out of the running based on your own opinions stated.

With USAirways you will fly into/out of Orlando MCO which you say you don't like, plus you add hours to your flight while risking an even lengthier ordeal by having to make a connection vs. flying non-stop.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 4050 times:

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

If you "like both," don't like Virgin Atlantic, and have no knowledge of US, why not go with what you know and like unless the cost is greater? If you do decide to go on US, CLT is a great airport to connect in and should be trouble free. If you like Thompsonfly (or whatever) and they are nonstop I can't imagine why you wouldn't use them. Nonstop is ALWAYS best, especially on long trips with children involved.


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2888 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3865 times:

Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
2. Thomson Airways/ Thomsonfly or whatever they call themselves these days - Manchester - Orlando Sanford (like both)

If you like both, then go for it, assuming the price is right. TOM's economy product is better than VS's in my opinion with greater seat pitch, and flights are non-stop to SFB.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlineGrinddalCPH From Denmark, joined Sep 2009, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3791 times:

Hi Mate,

Just one question?

Do you really favour a charter airline over VS IMO pretty good Y product? Anf cheap Y+ Tickets?

Daniel



The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway!
User currently offlinedavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7363 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3743 times:
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Quoting simonriat (Thread starter):
3. US Airways London Gatwick or is it just Gatwick now - ? I know I have to transfer somewhere in the states (never flown before but wouldnt mind giving it ago).

Are the US fares on MAN-PHL-MCO that much more than LGW-CLT-MCO?


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